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Boy Scouts

The Eagle Has Landed

Dude has been enjoying Boy Scouts since 4th grade. He started as a WEBELOS and continued on from there. He LOVES outside, loves camping, loves making fire, loves building things, loves learning new stuff, and just all around loves the adventures.

This is Crazy Dude trying to be awake after a long weekend of Cub Scout sledding in the mountains. Always makes me giggle :-)

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2010

 

Here is cute Dude at his becoming a WEBELOS II ceremony – 2010

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Here’s Dude at his bridging to Boy Scouts ceremony where he received his Arrow of Light – 2011

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And just last week, April of 2015, he was waiting in the hallway with Hubby for his Eagle Scout board of review to begin. Doesn’t look nervous at all (but he DOES look too old – stop it!)!

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45 minutes of chatting with the Boy Scout Council powers that be and VOILA! He earned his Eagle Scout rank!

Troop 194’s Newest Eagle Scout
2015 April 16 – 1845

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Couldn’t be prouder of him! He loves the kids in his troop and truly enjoys the activities, which made earning Eagle in 9th grade at age 14 more fun than work. He’s been on many adventures, including a 12-day backpacking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch last spring. He’s finding his way as a leader in the troop, helping the younger scouts whenever he can. The troop has grown a lot in the past two years and the direction of the troop has changed. He was getting kind of bummed about it. Even though he had completed all the requirements to earn his Eagle Scout rank, he decided to take matters into his own hands and was elected Senior Patrol Leader this past February – he will continue in this role through August. He’s already made great strides in organizing the troop and enlisting other kids to help get the troop back to where THE BOYS want it to be. So proud of the young man he’s become and can’t wait to see what’s in store for him!

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*******I know this is Dude’s time to shine, but I couldn’t look through Scout pictures without running across one of my sweet little Princess . . . get ready for a cute attack!

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A Shed and Two Bike Racks

That’s what Dude did for his Boy Scout Eagle project. One of the local schools is starting a mountain biking program and they needed a structure to store the mountain bikes. So Dude offered to complete the project for him. He worked REALLY hard on his proposal, which was accepted, and immediately got going on the project.

The basics: They were going to level the ground a little, put down a rock floor, erect the shelter (the school had already purchased it), and donate a couple of bike racks for inside the shed.

All of that happened, except they also ended up having to build a retaining wall and direct water flow around the shelter and the existing shed. Putting up the shelter took a lot longer than planned, too – Hubby says the instructions that say 2 1/2 hours for 4 adults is a marketing ploy 😉 It took them almost 5 hours! But they got it done and it looks awesome.

Can I just say that Dude has the awesomest friends in the world! His baseball buddies were more than willing to help and were amazing. The Scouts that showed up to help on the last day were great, too. A huge thanks to all of them (and to Hubby for guiding Dude through the process, which was not easy!).

A former Scout who has moved on to college shows the guys how to level the ground with the tractor and bucket.

Dude and one of his baseball buddies help move dirt during the leveling process.

Dude and another baseball buddy help build a retaining wall.

Dude apparently supervising baseball buddy while he shovels rock out of the trailer to create a base for the shed and bikes.

Day 3, it’s chilly and they’re working on putting up the shelter. Lots of hands in pockets in this photo – no wonder it took them so long!

They’re getting there!

Success!

If you’ve never worked on an Eagle project, know this . . . the actual doing the Eagle project is the easy part. The amount of paperwork and planning and getting approval required is amazing. This is all part of the learning to lead process, which is the main point of an Eagle project. So proud of Dude, Hubby, and everyone who helped complete this project!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Woot!

Just have to say – so proud of my Dude! He, with the help of Hubby, baseball teammates, friends, and scouts, completed his Boy Scout Eagle project over the weekend. This was the third weekend they worked on it.

In short – they leveled some ground (Colorado granite – yuck!), built a small retaining wall, laid down road base for a “floor”, and put up a Shelter Logic shed that the school had purchased. Then Dude and his buddies assembled two bike racks that we donated and put them in the shed.

It’s all ready for the 20 mountain bikes to be stored!

Mountain bikes you say? At school? Yep! This is a “special” school – it’s the 4th grade outdoor learning / naturalist school in the woods and home school academy for our school district. It’s an awesome program and every kid who has the opportunity to attend LOVES it.

Anyhoo – it took a lot of planning, they ran into a few surprises, and they had to make lots of adjustments along the way, but he is finished!

Now to write the final report.

Hike 20 miles to complete his hiking merit badge.

Then he can attend his Eagle Board of Review and hopefully achieve the Eagle Scout rank before next spring.

Woot!

So proud of my Dude . . . getting to Eagle is a great accomplishment no matter what, but earning that before your 15th birthday is something else.

Photos to come in another post . . . I just couldn’t wait to brag on my kid a bit :-)

Caving

Long long ago (Spring Break in March of 2013) and far far away (Carlsbad, NM), we camped for 5 days with some other families from Dude’s Scout troop for a spring break trip. We had 3 campers and 5 tents . . . it was a BLAST! We stayed at an RV Park that had an indoor pool, so the kids had lots of fun in the evenings.

This was our first time camping with the troop as a family, and we had a blast! Hubby planned the entire trip, so we brought all the food while some other families brought the troop supplies (tables, double-burner propane stove, patrol boxes, etc.). It as 80% scouts and 20% modern camping. We divided into two patrols, and within those patrols, each family had a meal responsibility. It worked out VERY well! I’m an early riser, as is one of the other Dads, so each morning we were out in the chilly mornings. He was heating up the coffee and water for hot chocolate and oatmeal while I was getting out all the other breakfast food and setting up a table with lunch food so everyone could assemble their sack lunch for the day.

Here’s Princess on the first morning, enjoying some Cheerios out of the wind in the back of the 4Runner :-)

 

And the rest of the folks milling about trying to wake up, stay warm, eat breakfast, and pack lunch before 8:00 a.m. departure!

 

The first day, our patrol got to go on a cave tour that required a 45 minute moderate hike up quite a hill. It wasn’t too difficult, but it was nice that they gave us a lot of time so we didn’t hate the tour before it even started 😉 We stopped at the visitor center first for our briefing and to get fitted for gloves (to protect the fragile cave) and a helmet with a headlamp.

Our patrol on the way up:

 

The cave was VERY neat! There is a locked gate to block people from getting in and vandalizing. The really crazy thing? After we all go in, the lock the gate behind us! Sure hope the guides don’t get hurt or sick! :-) We got a briefing at the top while we were still in the light. Then we hiked down the trail following one guide and having the comfort of the other guide at the end of our group. Here’s a view of the cave entrance from just a couple yards down the trail. Thank goodness for headlamps!

 

Our guide was awesome and very knowledgeable. He was so good with the kids and so patient with all of their questions. Here they are listening while he explained the mining that had taken place and talked about all the trash and litter that the miners had left behind (samples were still there) and how it affected the cave.

 I don’t have many more photos from inside the cave because it was DARK! :-) We had to use some ropes to climb up hills and try really hard not to touch the fragile stuff. We got to see the largest pile of bat poop (guana) ever – it really was amazing, if you can believe it. In the guana pile you could see bat skeletons! Ewwwwwwww! There weren’t any bats that used that cave anymore – thank God! We also go to experience the total darkness when everyone turned off their headlamps, then the guide moved his hands and we saw a naturally fluorescent rock shining. Very cool!

We got to climb to an area of the cave where they actually shot some movie scenes, which was also very neat. While the cave tour was great, it was also nice to be back outside in the light and feeling a bit less vampireish. The boys give a thumbs up for an awesome cave tour!

 

 

I like this photo and hate this photo. It looks like a graduation picture!

 

 

The hike down the hill back to the vehicles where an awesome picnic lunch and much water and Gatorade awaited!

 

 

None of us wanted to go back to camp yet, and nobody was really interested in starting a hike at 2:00 p.m. on a hot day, so some of us decided to go to Texas! Why not? It was only a 10 minute drive down the highway :-)

Dude and Princess “run for the boarder!”

 

 

Look, Honey! It’s part of an alien spaceship that must have crash-landed here!

 

Back at camp, we all had an awesome dinner and an even awesomer time watching the boys clean up, do dishes, and dig a sump for the gray water :-) Apparently it takes 4 scouts to find the right spot and 3 to supervise while 1 digs :-)

 

 

As I look closer, I see the supervising scouts are young scouts, so I will say this is my Dude “training” the younger scouts on the proper location and technique for digging a successful and useful sump while camping :-)

We had 3 days to do “stuff” in Carlsbad, 2 of which had cave tours planned. On our patrol’s day off, we decided to once again shun some awesome hiking opportunities and drive to Roswell :-) We had a blast! I’m not sure I believe in aliens as much as I believe in ghosts, but the evidence is hokey and compelling at the same time. Here we are seeing what it would be like to be an alien landing on Earth.

 

The Scouts took a turn. Yes, that’s my very weird child acting like some kind of disco dancing dorky alien :-)

 

We all spent a good couple of hours at the museum before heading next door for a yummy taco buffet lunch. Then we were off to town! We’d seen some fun aliens on the side of the road on our way through town going to camp, so we decided to go check them out while we were there. On our way, we ran by the airport to see the giant 747 graveyard – one of the scouts is a huge fan of plans and flying and was beside himself when he to be so close!

On our drive thorugh town, we just couldn’t resist this guy – outside the Holiday Inn :-) ET phone home!

No, Princess! Don’t let them take you!

 

Another night of campfire cooking and swimming in the pool was enjoyed by all before a VERY windy night of trying to sleep :-) On our 3rd day, our patrol go to go on the Left Hand Tunnel tour by lantern-light. The tour itself isn’t quite as exciting as the previous tour, but it’s very cool because you carry candle-light lanterns as your only source of light just like they original explorers did.

 

After the tour, we spent a couple hours walking around the show cave – especially the Big Room. It was VERY cool! I took a bunch of photos, but they just don’t come out well. It’s like the Grand Canyon – you just have to be there in person :-)

Our final night at the campground was a fun one! The boys made camp ice cream:

 

And dutch oven peach cobbler for dessert:

 

While it was all awesome and wonderful, one of my favorite parts of this whole trip was watching the boys work together with everything, including doing the dishes:

 

All while the adults use the leftover coals from our pocket meals to warm their hands on a very chilly evening :-)

 

We’re really looking forward to the next family Scouting event! It’s always fun to meet people outside of the meetings and get to know them on a more personal level.

Adventures in Caving

The Boedies are BACK! We had a wonderful trip to Carlsbad, NM with the Boy Scout Troop for the spring break trip.

I was a little worried to tow the camper that far . . . it sure did bounce a lot last fall when we towed it to the mountains! I had some work done on it over the winter and had my fingers crossed. Good news is that it pulled like a charm! Couldn’t even tell it was back there – for the entire 9-hours one way drive :-)

3 families brought campers like ours, and the rest of the people tented like actual scouts. We had a great spot for the entire group and enjoyed morning breakfasts together before packing grab-n-go lunches for our caving!

The caving was awesome! Our first tour was a 5-hour trip from start to finish – we had to hike a pretty steep 1/2 mile trail to get to the cave, where we donned our helmets, headlamps, and gloves for 2 1/2 hours in the cave. It was awesome! No crawling on hands and knees, but we got sufficiently dirty and had to use ropes to climb a couple spots in the cave. Stalagmites, stalagtites, columns, crystal, bat guano, cave paintings, fluorescent rocks, black out . . . we all really enjoyed the tour.

Our second tour was a shorter tour, but totally by lantern, just like in the olden days – very fun! We each got to carry a lantern lit by candle back into the cave. The cave wasn’t as pretty as the other one as far as formations go, but it was still very neat! There were steep drop offs, cave pools, bat mummies – did I mention this cave is home to a colony of bats? Ya – they weren’t there when we were there since they’d migrated for winter – but ICK! After the lantern tour, we were free to tour the Big Room, which is this massive show cave. Nice path to walk on with lighted areas. It’s amazing how giant this thing really is – I can’t imagine what the people who discovered this cave were thinking when it just kept going and going!

After each tour, the group enjoyed our lunches together before heading out on hikes (Guadalupe National Park), taking short road trips for photo opportunities (Texas was only 10 miles away!), or heading back to the campground to hang out and relax (the RV Park had an arcade).

We had a free day to do whatever we wanted – we went to Roswell with a couple other families on our day. You can’t be that close and not go see the Aliens, right??? It was pretty neat in there. Aliens or no Aliens? You’ll have to check it out and decide for yourself :-) After a yummy Mexican buffet lunch, we headed back to the campground.

The boys worked out a routine of their own from the very first day. Each afternoon when we returned from out tours, they would go play on the tire swings and in the arcade for awhile. Then they’d come back back and help get dinner ready and clean up (LOVE seeing boys do dishes!). Finally, they’d head to the indoor pool (RV Park – yes there was an indoor pool) and play and scream and yell and get rid of every ounce of energy they had left before heading back to camp to snuggle in for the night.

Speaking of night – BRRRRRRR!!! 28 degrees at night is a bit chilly! One afternoon and evening the wind was TERRIBLE – constant 20-25 mph, but then gusts up to 30-35 mph. We only had one tent blow down and need to be re-tethered, and that happened before anyone went to bed. Daytime temps in the mid-50s. The kicker? The day before we got there it was 78 high and 52 low. The 5 days after we left? 80 highs and 55 lows.

Go figure!

All said, we had a great time. It was really nice getting to know some of the other families outside of troop meetings – we’re looking forward to the next scout family camp!

***No pictures to post yet because I spent the night we got back sick and had to try to work a little yesterday before giving in to naps!

Snowshoes Rock!

I mentioned that dude and Hubby went on a fun winter outing with the Boy Scout troop a couple weekends ago. Dude wrote a post on his blog about it, but he didn’t post any photos and he didn’t tell you everything he told me. I think a list of what Dude said is in order:

  1. It was the awesomest bestest day ever!
  2. My snowshoes were smaller than everyone else’s. (but they worked great)
  3. Snowboarding in powder is awesome!
  4. Hiking in powder is hard.
  5. Snowboarding down the trail along the road while everyone else drove down was awesome!
  6. I can’t wait to do it again!
  7. We need to take the whole family up there to do this sometime.

And on and on and on.

Here are some photos of the fun (that Princess and I missed out on because the little guy wanted a guy’s day with the big guy!).

Princess and I can’t wait until we can all go up as a family to enjoy the semi-back country!

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Dan and Jason got to go snowshoeing and snowboarding . . . I’m working on a post with more photos . . . but here’s a teaser to hold you over.

13 Days

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted – even longer if you consider that I cheated by reposting my wedding day posts :-)

We’ve been busy here in the land of Boedie!

Swim team is going awesome, and keeping us busy.

My Mom and Step-Dad came to visit us for a long weekend over President’s Day weekend. We didn’t venture out to do many things, but Princess was happy they could see her swim meet! We had a great time just hanging out, playing games, and spending time with them.

Boy Scouts is keeping us very busy as well. Dude’s troop just had their troop elections for the next 6 months. He didn’t get Bugler, which he REALLY wanted, but he did get elected as the Troop Scribe (his 2nd choice) and also as his Patrol Quartermaster. So he’s happy. This photo of him with some of the guys from his troop kills me. They were doing their tree recycling pick up after Christmas. My Dude is in the middle . . . and yes, the boy to his right is a Scout – a 16-year old one at that :-)

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Girl Scouts has been keeping us busy as well! It’s cookie season, and the girls are going strong selling with their cuteness :-) Princess has sold 322 boxes of cookies – her goal was 350. The sale ends this Saturday – we’ll see if she can sell 30 more boxes this week! Here’s a crappy cell phone photo of her selling at Safeway earlier this week. She’s wearing a “vintage” Brownie uniform (I just called MYSELF vintage – the Brownie uniform is from 1973). I love it! The white shirt lookes like 70s wallpaper, but it’s actually got little Girl Scout emblems all over it. And the elastic sock holder uppers with the orange tassels just kill me! She loves it – it IS  a dress afterall 😉 Thanks, Mish, for letting us borrow it!

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Planning our Alaska trip for this summer has been keeping me busy! I can say that as of 9:53 a.m. today, I have EVERYTHING reserved and scheduled . . . and payed for for our entire 2 week trip. And believe it or not, even with me along on the trip, we’ve got 4 days of “nothing” scheduled where we can do whatever we want. And 2 other days involve the awesome nothingness of sitting on the deck of the ship watching the amazing glaciers go by as we cruise through the Inner Passage. Oh we are all sooooooooo excited!!!

This stupid cold has been keeping me busy! It’s actually kicking my ass . . . sinus nastiness for the past week. Throat and cough started yesterday. I think being so busy all last week made me kinda forget about it (better living through pharmaceuticals!) . . . but I did cancel my working a cookie booth yesterday and did nothing but hang out in my fleece jammies working on the computer. No manual labor or real pants were required all day. It was a HUGE help! Better today, but still nasty . . . I think I may finally be on the downward slope of this stupid thing. I can’t complain, though – it’s the first sick we’ve had in the house since school started (knocking on wood!).

This week isn’t going to let up at all either . . . Girl Scouts and a cookie booth today after school, swim team and Boy Scouts Court of Honor tomorrow, trumpet lesson and Little League Board meeting Wednesday, swim team Thursday, Horseback riding lesson Friday, baseball tryouts and merit badge session Saturday, baseball tryouts again Sunday . . . then my week of actual working starts :-) I need to catch up on my paying gigs!!!

Enjoy the rest of your week :-)

Sewing – Not Just For Girls

After spending a couple days with Princess teaching her some sewing skills, it was Dude’s turn. In August, he was voted the Troop Historian for his Boy Scout Troop. His “job” entails keeping the troop scrapbook up to date, creating photo slideshows for Courts of Honor and other events, and maintaining the Troop Blanket. Last night it was finally time to update the blanket and add the patches the troop had gotten from campouts and events they’d attended in the past couple of months.

What did Dude learn about sewing?

1. Threading a needle is easy.
2. Tying the knot at the end his not. His ham bone fingers had trouble rolling the thread off of his index finger.
3. Poking the needle through the blanket is easy.
4. Poking the needle back up through the patch is not – at least not without stabbing your finger!
5. Sewing patches on a blanket is easy.
6. Sewing patches on a blanket so they look nice is not.
7. Sewing patches on a blanket yourself takes longer than watching Mom do it.
8. Sewing patches on a blanket yourself provides more personal satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment than when Mom does it for you.

Before we started, we inspected the other patches on the blanket. I laughed out loud when he said “Wow! That patch was put on this blanket before I was even born!” I think that’s awesome – he’s understanding how cool it is to be part of a group with such a history. He commented himself on how some of the patches were on better than others and some just looked nicer than others. I asked which way he wanted to sew – he said he wanted them to look nice and not fall off. Good Man!

I don’t have any pictures because Hubby was overseeing the sewing while I sat in the chair sewing patches on Dude’s uniform and sash.

Overall, he did a great job. He sewed on two patches, both shaped like giant arrowheads. He only bunched the fabric a little bit under one of them; so we’ll call it a success :-) Now that we know he’s capable, he’ll get a lot more practice sewing his own patches on his sash and uniform!

Cookie Monster

In an effort to be the mother of a Boy Scout instead of the mother of a Cub Scout, I’m trying to let Dude be responsible for his own Boy Scout stuff. Their patrol achieved their Tenderfoot rank, so they got to elect their own patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, and quartermaster (since there are only 3 of them in their patrol, they pretty much all do it all).

Everyone got an email from the Scoutmaster after last weekend’s leadership training that the boys went to. It said Dude’s patrol had volunteered to bring cookies to the Court Of Honor ceremony tonight. He said he and the boys were going to talk about getting together to make cookies. Their patrol leader didn’t actually call anyone and make any plans, so there were no cookies. Yesterday when he got home from school, I mentioned that he had is Court Of Honor Tuesday night and that they didn’t have any cookies, so he’d have to get up early and go to the grocery store with me before school to get cookies (school, cross country meet, then directly to Boy Scouts left no other time – and I was NOT going to do this for him).

So I left about 5 minutes later for girl’s night out while he and Princess hung out with a sitter (oh we are so close to not having to get sitters!). When I got home from the movie, what did I see?

45 homemade M&M cookies in a sealed container :-) Dude and sitter took it upon themselves to get out the cookbook and make cookies. And I must say, they are YUMMY!

So while I was a bit disappointed in him for not remembering on his own, I am very proud of him for going ahead and using the one night so far this school year he hasn’t had any homework and choosing to make cookies rather than buy them.